Sunday 13 October 2019

Sporting world mourns presenter Bill O'Herlihy

Bill O'Herlihy
Bill O'Herlihy

There was sadness yesterday as news of the death of Bill O'Herlihy emerged. The 76-year-old had been at the forefront of RTE's soccer coverage until his retirement after the World Cup last summer.

Bill was a regular visitor to Sligo and was also here for the World Rally Championship which took place in 2007 and 2009.

Bill was hugely respected in the broadcasting world, alongside his co-presenters, John Giles, Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady and Ronnie Whelan.

He was a household name for decades for his work on RTE's football coverage since the early 1970s.

During his time with RTE, he covered ten World Cups and ten Olympic Games before retiring last year.

Bill was synonymous with Italia '90, and is remembered fondly for his work on RTE's panel for Republic of Ireland games.

He was held in high regard by Irish football fans for his unique approach to his role as presenter, opening football up to both young and old, sporting and non-sporting.

The tributes on his retirement showed the high regard he was held in by the Irish public, and his colleagues at RTE.

Among those paying tribute to the Cork native was John Delaney, FAI CEO.

He said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened at the passing of Bill O'Herlihy.

"A true national treasure, he was a fantastic journalist and interviewer, who made a unique contribution to Irish sports journalism. I have known him for over twenty years.

"We offer our sincere condolences to his family, his wife Hilary, and his daughters Jill and Sally."

The FAI will honour Bill O'Herlihy's contribution to Irish football at its international matches in June.

Eamon Dunphy added: "Bill was a very decent guy but he also had a journalist's sharp instinct and he would often pull me up or, Liam Brady in particular. Behind it all, we were all great friends and it is rare."

Sligo Champion